Propane Back Up for Propane... - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Propane Back Up for Propane...

So last time we were at camp I either read gage wrong on the propane tank (hopefully the case) or the needle was stuck or we have a leak. It got me thinking about an emergency back up method. I wished I’d paid more attention to our set up to talk about this is better detail. We heat by propane and have a large ish tank outside. I swear when we got to camp the gage read 80 (%?, lbs?). Then when we left it read 30. On the coldest winter weekends we usually use less than 5 so no way we actually consumed 50. So I am hoping I read the gage wrong when I got there.

The tank is by the property line with a line that runs under ground to camp where we have a regulator and ball valve to turn on supply to camp. Not sure what pressure the regulator is set for. Would it be possible to fashion a set up to bypass the main tank so that a 20lb(?) propane tank like used for a grill could be used as a back up? I know piping wise it can be done but should it go before or after that regulator? Any concerns? Am I crazy lol?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 05:23 PM
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Are you running a furnace or a wall mounted heater? Not sure if you could run a furnace off of a 20lb tank but should be able to run a heater. We have a medium sized wall mounted heater that runs off of 2 100lb tanks with an automatic valve. When 1 tank is empty it switches to the other. There is a green/red float to see what tank is on.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 05:56 PM
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One gallon of propane has about 90,000 BTU's. A 20 lb tank holds about 4.7 gallons. Depending on the load it can run a 20 lb tank down pretty fast.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 06:54 PM
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What size tank do have? A suggestion would be contact your propane dealer if you have one and have them do a pressure check and check your gauges and regulators , then go from there . Good luck with it.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the posts guys. I plan to leak test everything after the tank next weekend. We have an electric heater that would be fine for this time of year. Was thinking I would only run hot water tank off it.

Will have to check everything out next time. Never paid much attention to the propane system, it was all existing when we bought the camp and always ran smoothly.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-06-2020, 07:22 PM
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We have a 500 gallon tank at home . Two years we went to try another dealer and he found we had a leak between the tank and the regulator going into the house. Wanted a fortune to replace the section of pipe from the tank to the house. Called the original dealer and replaced the pipe and two regulators for a fraction of the price.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-07-2020, 10:48 PM
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I would check for a leak or see if someone tried to steal propane from you. My Buddies camp he had the copper from the tank cut as they tried to steal the copper. We think either he left the tank or they turned it on but his tank was drained when he found it. Might be worth having the propane company check the line and gauge.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2020, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I will be back at camp this weekend to figure out what is going on. Fingers crossed it was just a brain fart lol.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 09:52 AM
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let us know how you made out with it. Will be interesting to hear what it is .
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Well nothing to report lol. Gage read the same when I got there and barely moved during our weekend which is what I would expect this time of year. So no news is good news lol.
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